AROUND THE NETWORK: Pre-Fabrication for Expedited Delivery: Consigli Construction Builds Student Housing at Colby College

BuiltWorlds member Consigli Construction will deliver a four-building student residence complex just fifteen months from mere project conception at Colby College in Waterville, ME. Comprised of pre-fabricated structural units and pre-cast concrete foundation panels, the 40,000 sq. ft. facility will house 200 students upon completion.

The design-build delivery of the four repetitive buildings allowed the team to rapidly adjust design details and apply adjusted concepts from the first building to the last in real time for schedule and quality improvements. The structural units were designed to deliver nearly complete interiors for all spaces except the corridors and pre-cast basements.

With zero flexibility on structural unit delivery, the team had only four working days to set the foundation walls for each building. Consigli turned the parking lot adjacent to the project into a near-site pre-casting yard to construct foundations during sitework, allowing the team to pre-cast and pre-kit the panels on truck beds for just-in-time (JIT) delivery once the site was ready.

From the VDC group’s detailed drawings, Consigli’s self-perform team formed and pre-casted each of the 140 panels. A heated form structure supported rapid pre-cast at ground level, reducing jobsite hazards such as weather-caused slips and potential soil/excavation collapse in the foundation holes. The Consigli carpenters’ pre-casting system formed, reinforced, casted, cured and stripped panels on a five-day cycle.

Concrete panels were delivered just-in-time and placed with a crane with structural steel support beams. Consigli’s self-perform installers set the entire foundation wall system in less than three days—from the first panel being set to the start of wood sill plate installation.

Threaded inserts allowed clean picks off the panels’ sides. Embedded cam rotational picks rotated the panels from their flat to vertical positions for installation. Temporary bracing held the panels in place while awaiting structural unit installation, and top embeds were set to lock in the units come time for installation.

Structural units were delivered in two stages per building (left and right side, two-floors high). In typical pre-fabricated structural unit assembly, units fit with no openings to the exterior. Unique to the Johnson Pound Houses, the structural units had openings for corridor connections when set in place. Keeping each building weathertight between setting units and getting the roof tilted required careful, multi-trade coordination.

Consigli reviewed punch list items throughout construction, catching deficiencies when work was first put in place. Every item delivered was immediately quality reviewed, further accelerating the completion of each building by taking early corrective action.

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